The Schultheiss Brewery ranks among the large breweries in Germany. In line with corporate philosophy the company also opted for innovative and successful concepts when expanding its tank storage facility in 2002. Consequently, when integrating measurement engineering into the system level the company decided to use PROFIBUS PA fieldbus technology. For reasons of system availability, cost reduction and quality assurance the fermentation and mellowing section was automated with PROFIBUS PA. In addition to a flexible and simple switchover of production processes to the various types of beer, precision automatic process control had to be implemented.
The aim of the automation concept is to improve productivity by minimizing the fermentation control process interventions that have to be performed manually. At the same time, power consumption has to be minimized by means of systematic process control and optimal automatic cooler control. Another important demand placed on the system is a high level of reproducibility in order to achieve consistent product quality to high standards.
The precision automatic temperature and pressure control ensures a short fermentation time with optimal quality criteria. In the outdoor area the glycol cooler is equipped with fast-responding, high-precision pressure gauges (37 units) and temperature gauges (72 units) for that reason. Even though high-quality measuring instruments are used, the controller unit accuracy specified as having to be 0.14°C can only be achieved with digital data transfer. All the production processes are clearly documented with process reports and error histories. Graphic data processing allows a detailed analysis of the processes.
The structural situation of the tank storage facility is ideally suited for PROFIBUS technology. In cabling the 180 slaves (measuring instruments and control valves) it was possible to reduce costs considerably in comparison with 4...20-mA technology. Despite higher-priced cables savings were achieved in cabling, at the terminal boards, and in the control cabinets of the existing system.
Use of PROFIBUS PA fieldbus technology in the food industry reflects the trend toward exploiting the advantages of digital communication with measuring instruments in new systems. The reasons are to be found in the short installation and commissioning phases. That means a rapid return on capital input ? and optimal conditions for achieving a return on investment within only a few years.
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